Friday, June 15, 2012

'12/#28 The Best Things In Life

We spent another day in Yellowstone with our friends before they headed north to Glacier National Park. The weather was more cooperative, in fact it may have been ideal. We spent a good amount of time around the Old Faithful Area. Reports say that the Old Faithful Geyser is not as impressive as it used to be. Time & geological changes have reduced it's intensity & predictability but I still wanted to see it. After all it is Old Faithful. Well we saw it twice that day & contrary to reports that it is disappointing compared to it's previous appearances it is still quite impressive. The whole area is awe inspiring with it's geysers, steam vents, & hot springs. Think about water & steam, flowing & spewing out of the ground! All this because of the volcanic activity below the surface!!! They say if the Yellowstone Caldera were to erupt it would be 100 times greater than Mt St Helens

While the geothermal features make Yellowstone unique there is lots more to see. There are the mountains, valleys, trees, flowers, & animals. Oh the animals! We have seen deer & elk with antlers that make you wonder how they hold their heads up. We have spotted coyote & got a brief glimpse of a wolf .There are weasel & marmots scurrying around the trees & near the water. And we have seen buffalo, oh have we seen buffalo! Single buffaloes up on a hillside or drinking from a lake or stream & the occasional buffalo standing in or near the road have cars stopping to take pictures. But the "buffalo jams" really occur when herds are moving across fields, or better still, across the road! This is calf season & there are baby buffalo everywhere. The herds move looking for food & water with the calves seemingly attached to mom or dad's side. Once in the fields the calves run & play while the adults stay near by grazing. If camera shutters were louder the noise would be deafening. The adults are majestic while the babys are adorable. We were fortunate to see a mommy & her baby walk across the lawn right in front of Old Faithful while the crowds waited for the next eruption.

After 2 days seeing the park with our friends it was time to say goodbye. The 4 of us commented on the joys of our chosen RV lifestyle & came to an agreement. While we see some of the most amazing things this country has to offer it is the people we get to meet in our travels that impact us most. The locals are the windows into the different cultures that make the US so diverse, but the friends we make are what tie us all together. We meet, we work, we keep in touch, & our RV family grows...and I think it makes us all better people for the experience. Mary & I consider ourselves very fortunate to have some of the best friends one could ask for.

So safe travels to our friends & goodbye to everyone until the next blog from our home here in Cody Wyoming because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank & Mary

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

'12/#27Yellowstone w/Tour Guides

Yes, it's been a while but not much going on. Work, chores, etc & Mary ate something that didn't agree with her. That was our days off this past week. This week is going to be different. We have friends coming to town on their way north. We met them last year at Dollywood & have become good friends. We are taking a few days off to spend time with them & plan on seeing more of Yellowstone. This time our friends will be our tour guides since they workcamped in Yellowstone a few years ago.

The goal today was to see the critters of Yellowstone & especially bear or moose. We also wanted to see more of the geo-thermal features in the park. We saw buffalo again & fools who need to see them up close. That is what telephoto lenses are for. Buffalo can sprint over 30mph & have been know to gore those who get too close. Notice the fools in the photo above & my nice close-up below from the safety of the car.

We saw a coyote & a babby weasel during our travels. We also saw a nice rack on the side of the road. This rack was attached to an elk who had a friend with a less impressive set of head gear. Can you say "antler envy"? I forgot that we had seen big horn sheep near the entrance of the park. Hopefully we will see them again on our way out. Big horn sheep are something to see but they don't have elk antlers.

Our next stop was the Norris Geyser Basin. We have seen the West Thumb Geyser but Norris was much bigger & more impressive. It is mind boggling to think that all these geysers, steam vents, & mud pots with their steam & boiling water is a sign that we are walking on top of one of the worlds largest active volcanos. If this volcano should erupt it would make Mt St Helens look like a small burp.

It has been a long day so we headed for home & what should we see? The big horn sheep are waiting to bid us adieu. We stopped off to have dinner with our friends /tour guides & called it a night. We will continue our explorations of Yellowstone tomorrow. So for now it is goodnight from our home in Cody because.....
Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Saturday, June 2, 2012

'12/#26 Back To Yellowstone

Here it is the first of June. That means we have been here a month. Time flies when you're having fun. Not much to say about the jobs here since it has been very slow tourist-wise. They say it will get busy soon & we hope so, because it can get very boring with no customers. The worst part of the job is watching the clock.

  This weekend we went into Yellowstone so Mary could see grizzly bears. This time we took the NE entrance since everyone is telling us that we will see wildlife there IF we get there early. So the alarm clock went off at 4am. Yes AM! Now if you know us at all you know we are not morning people. For the last 25-30 years the only time we saw times before 8am we were on our way home from work, so this was definitely out of character for us. 75 miles of beautiful & rugged countryside later we were having breakfast in Cooke City Montana. Out here in the wide open spaces they mean wide open. Once you leave Cody everything is at least an hour away. By the time we got to Yellowstone it was almost 8am.

The rest of the day was nothing short of amazing with prong horn deer jumping in front of the truck,deer grazing, & buffalo every where. No bears!The mountains are stunning, the valleys are serene, &a natural beauty is around every bend in the road. Pictures do it no justice but we take them anyway to share with everyone. We hope you enjoy them here & on our FB pages.

  The road started climbing as we approached Dunraven Pass. Just a week ago this pass was closed to traffic because of snow. In fact it had not been open yet this year. The snow at times was taller than our truck & this is JUNE! As we drove through the pass we got into a sort of traffic jam with the locals. This shot is through our windshield.

Coming down from Dunraven Pass we stopped to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. We have been to the Grand Canyon & what this canyon may lack in size it more than makes up for in beauty. The colors from the mineral deposits & the water falls are breathtaking.

It was time to head home with another 100 miles to go so we pointed the truck east towards Cody. By the time we got home we had driven over 225 miles & walked countless more. We were tired. The rodeo was in our plans but that will wait for another day & another blog.

So this is goodnight from our home in Wyoming because...

Home is where we park it, Frank & Mary